Big in China, Bigger in Maplewood

By mark-slade March 7, 2011

Big in China, Bigger in Maplewood

Alan Paul event was standing room only at Words Bookstores on Friday night.

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Local author Alan Paul spoke to a packed crowd at Words Maplewood Store on Friday, March 4 to celebrate the release of his book Big in China (Harper Collins).  With the basement full to capacity, late arrivers were turned away and the store sold out of books.
Words owner Jonah Zimiles said it was the first time this had ever happened.

“I was overwhelmed and humbled by the whole experience,” said Paul. “I feel blessed to be part of such a vibrant, supportive community. Maplewood is very much a part of my life and of the book, which made the entire experience extremely meaningful. No matter what happens from here, I’ll always have March 4 in Maplewood.”

Afterwards, Paul joined guitarist Andy Aledort and his band on stage at Highland Place to celebrate the book’s release. Aledort has been a member of Dickey Betts band for seven years. He and Paul are longtime colleagues from Guitar World magazine.

Big in China recounts Paul’s adventures moving his family from Maplewood to Beijing. He went as a “trailing souse” when his wife Rebecca Blumenstein was named the Wall Street Journal’s Beijing Bureau Chief, but ended up with adventures of his own, including forming Woodie Alan, a Chinese blues band that won awards, toured the nation and recorded an acclaimed CD. The wide range of endorsers, from Gregg Allman to journalist James Fallows, testifies to the book’s wide range. You can learn more at